I have wanted to go on a Grand Canyon, Arizona raft trip with creationist geologists for 25 years, but I just didn't make it a point to do so. Then Mark Looy of AiG-USA called this long-time Answers in Genesis supporter a week before the July 2005 trip saying there had been a last-minute cancellation and did I want to take the spot. Did I?! It only took a microsecond to decide. Besides, I love impromptu vacations.
What a great trip it was! Christian fellowship like you wouldn't believe. There were fascinating presentations by, and discussions with, Tom Vail (author of Grand Canyon: A Different View) and AiG adjunct speaker Mike Oard about Flood geology versus uniformitarianism. And I was viewing the evidence for myself, and enjoying the occasional rapids of the Colorado River. What a blast!
There was also the opportunity to be one source of God's light to two people who “just happened” to be in the group but didn't know Jesus Christ.
If you have wanted to go but, like me, haven't signed up, 2006 should be the year for you! And look for me and my family. I have proposed that all four of us go next year, now that I have “done all the work” of checking it out.
Consider joining us as we go 280 miles in eight days: down the river through the Canyon, from Lee's Ferry just 18 miles below the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell to South Cove, Arizona, on the upper part of Lake Mead. All needed camping equipment and all meals are provided-and what cooking they can do from supplies and equipment hauled on the rafts, with no re-supplies along the way. Great meals are prepared by the tour guides/boat operators/chefs morning, noon and evening. We all felt quite pampered (and had to guard against gaining weight!).
Our group consisted of 29 people and 4 tour guides, plus Tom and Mike, who were our resident instructors in Flood geology. There was a family of six, and also couples, father-son/father-daughter duos and many individuals-aged from 8 years to the mid-70s. What a diverse group of (mostly) Christians assembled by the Lord's loving and careful guidance.
Every few miles, and sometimes more often, we ran rapids: lots of fun (and welcome relief from the heat!). Several times a day we would stop and take a short hike. In one case, we hiked a little up the Little Colorado River to shoot some rapids “body-style” in our life jackets. In other cases we hiked up to see and douse ourselves in a creek and/or waterfall.
On these hikes, in almost all cases we found interesting variations in the rock layers or interesting fossils (or other evidence of once-living creatures). Fossils were actually more rare than I had expected. Perhaps the most definitive section for me that demonstrated massive flooding (a la Noah's Flood) was a place where a shift had taken place and the rock layers smoothly went from one level up several tens of feet to another level: evidence that all those layers were still wet and therefore plastic at the time of the shift, rather than being the result of millions of years of deposition and then shifting, in which case those layers would have been metamorphosed into much harder rock.
Of course, the canyon as seen from below is at least as impressive as when seen from the rims above. It becomes clear that this is a canyon cut by lots of water, much like the smaller canyons many of us see every day. In addition, from below you get a much better feel for how long the canyon is, as well as what a hostile environment it is. My family once took a Grand Canyon bus tour with ICR (Institute for Creation Research), along with Mark Looy, in which we visited the south rim, but that was nothing to be compared to floating down the length of the canyon and being able to touch and feel the rocks, fossils, etc., for myself.
What a blast, what a joy, what learning, what an experience! Why did I wait so long?!